So, ever since Alanis Morissette I’ve had some trouble trying to figure out if something is really ironic or not. Considering that I am now a fugitive, is my spending the night in Sheriff Linc Bergstrom’s hayloft ironic? Seeing that it feels like I am getting flea bitten, we’ll just say it was not well thought out, but I frankly think it’s the last place he would look for me. And I need some quiet time to think.
The barn door opens. I look over the side of the loft down at him. When we were kids we used to jump blindly out of this loft and land on the hard hay bales below. I’m surprised we freaking didn’t break anything.
Linc sits on a hay bale and bites into an apple. My stomach churns. What the hell, Linc?
“I know you’re there,” he says. “I’ve known where you were since Mrs. Eldridge left the door open.”
I remain as quiet as a mouse.
“I asked her to leave the door open because I wanted to see what you would do. And you didn’t disappoint. And, yes, I did see you on the swing. Come on down, Annie.”
He watches me as I climb down the ladder. What’s the point of all of this?
I watch him warily. He takes another bite of his apple and slowly wipes the juice from his bottom lip. Oh, my.
“Crazy place to hide,” he says.
“I was trying to be ironic.”
He raises his eyebrow and takes another bite of his apple. He leisurely chews while I watch him. He’s always been like this, making my blood pressure rise in every which way he could.
“So you have Clarice getting a list of Ry’s ….” His voice trails off as he realizes that it might not be considerate to mention that my late husband could actually have a list of “other women.”
“Did you bug the interrogation room? I’m sure that’s a violation of my privacy.”
“I’m sure helping you escape is a violation of the law, but I notice you aren’t complaining about that.”
“Are you going to feed me?”
“Are you going to be a little less surly?” he asks.
I shrug. “You know what I’m like when I’m hungry.”
“Yes, unfortunately I do. Come on.”
While I lean against his kitchen counter, he fixes me fried eggs and hash browns, claiming it’s the most vegetarian friendly food in his house. My mouth is watering. He watches me, bemused, as I quietly but quickly devour my dinner.
“Did you let me escape so that I could solve Ry’s murder?”
He grins. “Not quite.”
“I wanted to see if it would flush the murderer out.”
“So you don’t think I did it.”
“Of course not. I think you’re nuts, but I don’t think you’re a murderer.”
“Then why did you arrest me?”
“Because the evidence pointed to you. Legally I’m not supposed to go on my own personal opinions.”
“You could get in trouble for this.” The realization is like a big stone around my neck.
“And how is my escaping supposed to flush this murderer out?”
“You were supposed to be a victim.”
“The same poison that was in Rosie’s sugar canister was in your sugar canister.”
“Maybe I put it there.”
He laughs. “You really are nuts.”
“Who would want me dead?”
“Right now, who wouldn’t?”
As I stare at him as he stares at me, those iceberg blue eyes of his not at all cold right now, I feel like there’s a school of fish performing acrobatics in my belly. And, I think I’m going to avail myself of his shower to rid the itchy flea feeling and the entirely different feeling of wanting to perform unclothed acrobatics with him. That shower is going to run hot and then cold, just like me right now (well, I’m hoping on the cold part at any rate).